The Three Stages Of Empire

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

I consider it self-evident that we are in the third and final stage of self-serving Imperial decay.

Though Edward Luttwak's The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century CE to the Third is not specifically on the rise and fall of empires, it does sketch out the three stages of Empire.

Here is the current context of the discussion of Imperial lifecycles: the U.S. defense budget is roughly the same size as the rest of the world's defense spending combined:

Luttwak describes the first stage of expansion thusly:

"With brutal simplicity, it might be said that with the first system the Romans of the republic conquered much to serve the interests of the few, those living in the city--and in fact still fewer, those best placed to control policy."

The second stage spread the benefits of Empire much more broadly:

"During the first century A.D., Roman ideas evolved toward a much broader and altogether more benevolent conception of empire... men born in lands far from Rome could call themselves Roman and have their claim fully allowed, and the frontiers were efficiently defended to defend the growing prosperity of all, and not merely the privileged."

The third stage is one of rising inequality:

"In the wake of the great crisis of the third century, the provision of security became an increasingly heavy charge on society, a charge unevenly distributed, which could enrich the wealthy and ruin the poor. The machinery of empire now became increasingly self-serving, with its tax collectors, administrators and soldiers of much greater use to one another than to society at large."

That line describes the American state and central bank perfectly. The burdens of an increasingly self-serving hierarchy are falling most heavily on the middle and upper-middle class, while bread and circuses (i.e. Medicaid-paid opiates) are freely distributed to the restless masses to distract them from the immense concentration of wealth and power at the top of the pyramid:

At some point, Collapse Is Cheaper and More Effective Than Reform (November 5, 2015). The third stage Luttwak describes can be broken down into a chart of the Lifecycle of Bureaucracy, for every Imperial Project is ultimately the combination of a vast concentration of wealth/power and the sclerosis of self-serving bueaucracies that serve themselves rather than society at large:

I consider it self-evident that we are in the third and final stage of self-serving Imperial decay. That said, we don't have to follow that trajectory; we can fashion a much better future outside the status quo, as I outline in A Radically Beneficial World.

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Overfed's picture

Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Pinto Currency's picture

s/b three stages of central banking.

adanata's picture


A perfect example of the current mindset was eloquently expressed by Nashville City Councilwoman, Burkley Allen who essentially stated, whoever sleeps in your home is a "privilege" granted to you by the state, not a "right".  These people have become totally batshit crazy.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


The Three Stages Of Empire?

There are five stages, not three.

We are almost to stage 4, Destruction...

Caleb Abell's picture

"We are almost to stage 4, Destruction..."


Stage 4 will happen soon if Hillary becomes President and follows through on her promise to "make Russia pay a price"

NotApplicable's picture

Isn't this article a repeat? Or is it just the charts?

svayambhu108's picture

Stage 4 will happen regardless of Trump or Hillary

swmnguy's picture

The City Councilwoman was talking about people using Airbnb to rent out their homes.  It's about regulating business operating in areas zoned residential.  It's unclear whether or not she cares who sleeps in your house.  

As conventional business opportunities have withered in America, there's a proliferation of web-based frameworks that facilitate do-it-yourself business operations that compete with licensed, regulated businesses.  The first time somebody uses Airbnb to rent a house and dies in a fire caused by inadequate wiring or something, and sues the local city for not inspecting what serves as a hotel, that'll be the end of Airbnb.  Just as Uber is on shaky ground regarding insurance and overall liability for their drivers.  Since these internet companies place requirements on the operators who advertise through their platforms, they are legally employers and will be held liable once events catch up.

I'm not saying I like or support the position the City Councilwoman was taking, but your comment oversimplified it to the point of not making sense.

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) swmnguy Sep 21, 2016 2:41 PM

For you and anyone fucking else that wants to stick their nose into my life: NUNYA. None of your fucking business.

If someone dies and I don't have the proper insurance that is my liability, period. Adults can handle responsibility and we don't need the fucking nanny state to instruct us on how to wipe our ass.

Of course people are going around regulations to try and fucking survive. The government should be happy because those people are paying fucking taxes and consuming goods and contributing to the economy and not just parasites sucking off the government tit.

adanata's picture


I believe it made sense to people who understand reality. Everything you state, as if it was perfectly reasonable and acceptable to you, IS the problem. The reason business has "withered" is because of BIG FAT dysfunctional government. Furthermore, when the words, this is not your "right", but "...the government is granting you a privilege regarding YOUR property.."... well, them's fighin' words.


Silver Bug's picture

If we continue down this path, in which the elites and banks rule from the top then it is inevitable that we will collapse. This fiat ponzi scheme is a powder keg waiting to explode.

dark fiber's picture

That life cycle diagram  looks very much like stellar evolution.   I suppose that if you are big  enough, you might end up as a neutron star or a black hole.

nuubee's picture

I was just about to post this, very similar diagram and progression.

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) nuubee Sep 21, 2016 2:43 PM

And then it goes crack-up boom!

Caleb Abell's picture

The black hole is playing golf today.

conraddobler's picture

Yeah yeah yeah it doen't have to be that way. 

Sure it does that's how it rolls.

The future will be the same as almost all the rest of the past.

Mankind locked into mortal combat with his own self.

Phil Free's picture

All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.”
 -- J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Mr. Schmilkies's picture

Hillary is a good metaphor for this: we are now in the collapse stage.

buzzsaw99's picture

with her it is the prolapsed snukular meltdown stage.

zeronetwork's picture

I hope writer understands difference between empire and Ponzi.

JenkinsLane's picture

Total US Defense spending is more like $1.3 trillion if you add in all related expenditures, which aren't stuck under the

"Defense" heading - nuclear arsenal, Vets, etc.

h/t Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

RaceToTheBottom's picture

1.3 Trillion is peanuts compared to the amount the US has paid its Banksters

BetweenThe Coasts's picture

"The latest Department of Defense (DOD) audit now indicates that DOD is missing $6.5 Trillion for fiscal 2015."

Rubicon727's picture

Yea, and speaking of "bureaucracies" - just how much of that $1.3 Trillion is being thieved by the top 1%-10% rich?

How much of it goes towards keeping mouths shut, or used to buy off the criminal politicians in their respective nations?

Bureaucracies, no matter what type, have always been encumbered by graft, lies and criminal activities.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

USA has turned into Sodom and Gomorrah. Society is praising people who worship their perversion and what goes into their assholes. Debt money printing goes on and on. Empire no more.

arby63's picture

We--as in the majority of Americans--never had empire inspirations. The "otherworld" and infiltrators appears to have always thought they could use the power of the American citizenry to their advantage. 

I suppose they were right for a while. It's not the same today. Pick a war or pick a cause. The monied elite who had a vested interest were successful at twisting our desire for peace with an act of aggression. Pride and patriotism then followed. 

The world is far from perfect. America is far from perfect. I will have to admit that America has attempted (on the ground) to be helpful to the world. 

We have been forsaken, however, by politicians and elite stakeholders that could not care less about Americans. Yet, here we are. 

Clinton is representative of where we've been. She shouldn't be part of the future.

Father ¢hristmas's picture

Trump did it again, O my brothers.  Hillary thought she could bait him into some gaffes with these police shooting farces and he bobbed and weaved that bullshit like a champ, and confounded State Media yet again.

Now, if Trump positions himself as a catalyst or a mediator for a dialogue between poeleece and dindus, and he's quiet and keeps his cool during those sessions, that's it.  It's a fucking wrap.

DylerTurden's picture

So if they are "only" spending $711 billion per year how did they misplace $6.5 trillion? That's 9 years worth of spending. Something doesn't add up...

johnnycanuck's picture

$6.5 trillion worth of creative accounting adjustments made to cover up the multiple billions worth of missing money they won't account for because they don't want anyone to know where it went.  Adjustments that were made required further adjustments eventually equalling a much greater amount in total. In the end they just invented some numbers out of thin air and inserted them in the appropriate columns to make it look like the books balance.

If you read the articles published on the subject carefully and know anything at all about accounting, it's perfectely clear what they did and why they did it and continue to do so.  As one of the top people involved in trying to figure out the discrepancies said, "we don't know where the money went".


Peon14's picture

A trillion dollars is like a large herd of elephants it's going to leave a trail a blind man could follow. Only someone from Harvard probably would miss it.

Heavenlysunshine's picture

Funny how the financial parasites always seem to escape from

the dying host (empire) to infect the next one.

arby63's picture

No one escapes this time because there is nowhere to escape to. The breakdown will be an intricate combination of financial, social, religious, demographic and probably a host of other divisions. 

The dwindling down of economic opportunity is going to have some real consequences. Most of them I expect to be violent. What other manifestation really exists?

I find it very interesting that mega-business is somehow confident that their success is ensured via the Fed even if they cannot sell a product to anyone because they are all in poverty.

That may seem an extreme example but that's exactly our path. Are we now China? 

HopefulCynical's picture

No one escapes this time because there is nowhere to escape to.

Precisely correct.

CRM114's picture

Well, there isn't in a national sense, but there is in a sub-regional/local sense.


No, I'm not telling you where. Find your own bolthole!

Radical Marijuana's picture

Exponential progress in physical science and technology has made previous historical comparisons miss the mark by many orders of magnitude: NOBODY fully understands what it means to have developed globalized electronic monkey money frauds, backed by the threat of force from apes with atomic bombs.

Neolithic Civilization's main historical sources, which are still dominant today, were in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The books of organized crime gang rules which were developed by those who survived through both those formative experience were the principles and methods of organized crime that the currently dominate gangs converted to adopt. It is typical for the rules for organized crime gangs that those rules are different for their members than for everyone else. Indeed, one of the general tests of the degree to which sets of rule operate are the degree to which their rules are different for the insiders rather than the outsiders.

In many ways, we are looking at the manifestations of "tribalism" for the dominant organized crime gangs, versus their imposing "globalism" on everyone else. (Of course, that is extremely hypocritical, but then, almost by definition, the best organized gangsters, who are currently the banksters, are the best available professional hypocrites.)

There is nothing in previous human history to compare the runaway "globalism:"

"No one escapes this time because there is nowhere to escape to."

The article above by Hugh-Smith was an interesting attempt to engage in superficially correct analysis of the past patterns, AS IF those would still be relatively useful regarding the future. However, Hugh-Smith always tends to grossly understate the seriousness of the situation that civilization has always been based upon being able to back up lies with violence, and therefore, the EXISTING political economy is based upon being able to enforce frauds, despite those becoming exponentially more fraudulent, in ways which have sort of become "frozen in history" due to the consequences of what would happen IF (or WHEN) the combined money/murder systems were actually to start using the force of weapons of mass destruction to attempt to continue to back up their globalized electronic frauds.

The Roman Empire was based on animate energy, human and animal labour, using spears and swords as the death control tools, to back up the debt controls: "Almost everyone was taught that money was invented to replace the messy business of barter. … But ... anthropologist David Graeber, and other experts on the history of money, say that this is a myth. Instead, they say that money was invented to finance war, and to keep score while armies went about pillaging and looting."

MONEY IS MEASUREMENT BACKED BY MURDER. The consensus of the intellectual mercenaries paid to promote the banksters' bullshit is the presentation of professional hypocrisies that money is NOT THAT. Rather, the consensus amongst the intellectual mercenaries manifests in proportion to their incomes being based on promoting the banksters' bullshit.

"What Went Wrong?"

Civilization was always based upon being able to back up lies with violence. The almost exponential progress in physical science enabled the social pyramid systems of Neolithic Civilization to grow at about an exponential rate. Within the life time of those still alive today, the previous systems of paper money frauds, backed by gunpowder weapons, became globalized electronic money frauds, backed by the threat of force from atomic bombs.


The "consensus" amongst the intellectual mercenaries paid to promote the banksters' bullshit is that one can make economic predictions while deliberately ignoring that the political economy is based upon public governments enforcing frauds by private banks. Furthermore, one should discuss that political economy in ways which deliberately ignore how that operates INSIDE HUMAN ECOLOGY. In general, I find that Hugh-Smith is quite typical of those who do not engage in any deeper levels of analysis of the NECESSITY for there to be some human ecology, because that then follows through to the NECESSITY of some death control systems, with the murder systems are the most extreme forms of those. Furthermore, to follow through on deeper levels of analysis of human beings and civilization living as entropic pumps of environmental energy flows results in discovering and demonstrating how and why we have ended up with the currently existing, globalized, civilization based upon public governments enforcing frauds by private banks, in ways that the vast majority of people do not understand, because they have been conditioned to feel like they do not want to understand.

Neolithic Civilization developed pyramid systems through which a few people, who were backing up dishonesty with violence, were able to control large numbers of people who were thereby kept ignorant and afraid, so that they could be controlled and exploited. However, after more and more significant harnessing of previously inanimate energy sources, through the series of industrial revolutions, the previous systems of paper money frauds backed by gunpowder weapons were able to become globalized electronic frauds, backed by the threat of force from atomic weapons, all of which together has left the vast majority of human beings behind in the dust, as prodigious progress in physical science and technology accelerated, while political science did nothing but perfect its abilities to enforce frauds, in ways which deliberately ignored and misunderstood itself doing so as much as was humanly possible.

Although the laws of nature never stop working, and being able to enforce frauds operates within the laws of nature, the overall consequences of driving exponentially increasing fraudulence are that civilization manifests runaway criminal insanities. Although human beings and civilization live as entropic pumps of environmental energy flows, human history has driven doing that to develop in ways which became expressions of social successfulness based upon the maximum possible deceits and frauds.

Mainstream economists are intellectual mercenaries, who make their living INSIDE systems where economics is actually a special case of warfare. Inside that context, the mainstream economists make predictions which are based upon continuing to support exponentially increasing fraudulence. Of course, they do NOT admit and address that fundamental fraudulence, but rather were selected to become the best available professional hypocrites who could spout bullshit about that. Virtually all predictions are being made in ways which continue to tend to be based upon old-fashioned common sense notions, based on the experience of large numbers and chemical energy, none of which are any longer in the same ball park as the problems presented by monkeys and apes with electronics and atomic energy, while using those astronomically amplified capabilities and powers mostly to continue to enforce frauds, which has enabled exponentially increasing fraudulence.

"The financial parasites always seem to escape from the dying host (empire) to infect the next one."

Over and over again, ecologies have evolved to develop groups that acted as the productive prey and groups that acted as the predatory parasites. In the case of human beings and civilization, those developed mostly as different cultural groups (which only partially were also genetically based), whereby there were groups of people who behaved more as the productive prey, along with other groups of people who behaved more like the predatory parasites. At the present time, the overall trends are that the exponential progress in physical science and technology have driven the already existing social pyramid systems to become such that the ruling classes were increasingly psychotic psychopaths, while the people they ruled over were increasingly impotent political idiots.

In my view, the approaches taken by guys like Hugh-Smith, et alia, are to deliberately ignore the necessarily existence and nature of the actually existing death controls as much as possible, while proposing and promoting bogus "solutions" which do not address the central issues regarding how to operate the human murder systems after the development of weapons of mass destruction. It is painfully obvious that the ruling classes do NOT know how to do that, and indeed, NOBODY DOES! Rather, those who were being ruled over have been conditioned to not want to understand how they are actually being controlled through public governments enforcing frauds, while the few who do begin to superficially understand still tend to continue to not engage in deeper levels of analysis regarding how could there ever develop better integrated human, industrial, and natural ecologies, through which their death control systems would continue to be the central features.

The actually existing ruling classes were the biggest bullies, whose bullshit dominated civilization for thousands of years, such that their bullshit world view was built into the dominate natural languages and philosophy of science. After the biggest bullies became the international bankers, those banksters' bullshit was able to similarly dominate the discussion of political economy, in ways which were based upon public governments enforcing frauds, which have been able to become exponentially more fraudulent, at the same time as those developments were buried under exponentially increasing piles of bullshit. Indeed, there have been so many layers upon layers of bullshit that the lower levels have practically become fossilized bullshit, as the apparent bedrock of Neolithic Civilization.

Within that context, I think it is correct that the international bankers appear to have an agenda in which China becomes their model for more globalized civilization. Indeed, look at the ways that the Chinese have recently been making more of the public "money" supplies out of nothing as debts than others, and one will see that the Chinese had adapted to assimilate Western methods of triumphant organized crime, in ways which follow the overall basic problem of exponential growth, heading towards catastrophically overshooting.

The industrial revolutions started about the same time and place, with the development of the first physical stream engines & social debt engines. Since then, more and more "money" has been made out of nothing, in order to "pay" to strip-mine the planet's natural resources as fast as possible, while turning those into garbage and pollution as quickly as possible. Overall, therefore, each short to medium term increment of being able to enforce frauds drove exponentially increasing overall fraudulence. More and more fraudulent financial accounting systems were publicly presenting everything that human beings and civilization were really doing in the most absurdly backward ways possible.

Despite the FACTS that civilization NECESSARILY operates as entropic pumps of environmental energy flows, because those are the FACTS, civilization has also developed to become as deeply dishonest about those facts as humanly possible, which is why monkeys and apes with electronics and atomic energy, in order to be able to continue to enforce frauds, has become so extremely problematic. Globalized Neolithic Civilization has been made and maintained by those who developed to become the best at backing up lies with violence being able to dominate civilization in ways whereby they acted as ruling classes of the predatory parasites, while those they ruled over became the productive prey. However, as those systems originally based upon human and animal labour more and more became based upon harnessing previously inanimate energy sources, those systems relatively rapidly and recently became what exists now, namely globalized electronic frauds, backed by the threat of the force of atomic bombs, within which context the chemical energy and common sense understanding of flesh and blood human beings has become relatively trivial.

Individual human beings have become particularly trivial within the overall context due to the degree that the vast majority of them have already been successfully conditioned to believe in bullshit, for generation after generation, and therefore, want to continue to believe in that bullshit. Furthermore, individual human beings have become relatively trivial because there is now almost nothing which is publicly significant than the central core of the pyramid systems, banker dominated governments, who frauds are thereby enforced, who are surrounded by controlled opposition groups, who stay within the same frame of reference of bullshit too, since the long history of social successfulness based upon being able to enforce frauds has resulted in all sociopolitical systems being dominated by the best available professional hypocrites, and that includes the layers of controlled opposition groups, just as much as it does the central core of runaway triumphant organized crime, whose excessive successfulness is manifesting as runaway criminal insanities. Hence, while it MIGHT be theoretically possible for enough human beings to become more competent citizens, within a more competent civilization, the actual trends are more towards human beings acting like bullshit consumers, who enable a worse and worse bullshit-based civilization to collectively prepared to commit suicide.

Neolithic Civilization is facing intensifying paradoxes that it was always based upon being able to back up lies with violence, while exponential progress in physical science has enabled those enforced frauds to become exponentially more fraudulent. That includes the ways that the only publicly significant discussions of those problems tend to remain various sorts of superficially correct analysis, which then tends toward bogus "solutions" which are similarly superficial, as illustrated by the work of Hugh-Smith et alia. Neolithic Civilization has developed a human ecology, and within that a political economy, which are based upon the maximum possible deceits and frauds, which necessarily includes that there is no publicly significant discussion of the degree to which that is the case. One of the many facets of that situation are the ways that most of those being ruled over do not understand what the rulers are really doing, while the relatively few who do begin to superficially understand what the rulers are really doing still then do not understand that in any deeper ways.

Hence, it is now normal for the majority of people to NOT understand, and NOT WANT to understand, that money is measurement backed by murder, which is the most abstract way that private property is based upon backing up claims with coercions. Hence, when statistics are presented, such that the pyramidion people in the top 0.7% of the population "own" 45% of the wealth, or the top 8% "own" 85% of the wealth, that all of that "ownership" is based on the history of being able to back up lies with violence, which became more sophisticated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, whereby a tiny minority has been able to engage in the symbolic robberies of the vast majority, are concepts that the vast majority are mostly NOT interested in understanding any better, while even the few that do face those facts only tend to superficially do so.

The underlying problems are that while a some human beings are better and better understanding general energy systems, and that has enabled prodigious progress in physical science and technology, almost no human beings are better understanding themselves and civilization as manifestations of general energy systems, due to the ways that natural selection pressures drove the development of artificial selection systems to become most socially successful by becoming as dishonest as possible. Hence, the ways that the ruling classes are the predatory parasites, who are becoming exponentially more psychotic psychopaths, while those they rule over were the productive prey, that were increasingly impotent political idiots, who have actually become exponentially more irrelevant and negligible within the overall context of the industrial revolutions being able to harness greater and greater inanimate energy sources, such that human labour became less and less significant.

It is within that overall context that I also agree that:

"The dwindling down of economic opportunity is going to have some real consequences. Most of them I expect to be violent."

However, I no longer necessarily agree that:

"The financial parasites always seem to escape from the dying host (empire) to infect the next one."

Those human beings who have the most access to electronic frauds, and/or atomic force, etc., NO LONGER ARE IN CONTROL.

HUMAN BEINGS HAVE CREATED SYSTEMS WHICH ARE MANIFESTING THE MOST DYSTOPIAN SCIENCE FICTION SCENARIOS POSSIBLE. At the present time, it is politically impossible to have any relatively rational public debates about the human death control systems, and especially not about the murder systems, since thousands of years of history has selected for the existing systems to become based on the maximum possible deceits and treacheries, and for that background to also be what the various layers of controlled "opposition" groups also take for granted.

Politics should be applied human ecology.

It actually already IS, but it has become so through the history of warfare, within which developed the history of the political economy based upon public governments enforcing frauds by private banks, in ways which the vast majority of people do not understand, as well as feel like they do not want to understand, especially since most of those few who are exhorting them to understand also only still superficially understand.

The globalized empire created by the international bankers IS somewhat like what Hugh-Smith presents, except that it is many orders of magnitude way worse, as well as continues to automatically get worse and worse, faster and faster ... Within that context, what we are routinely presented with on Zero Hedge is superficially correct analyses of the problems presented by the
globalized empire created by the international bankers, which do NOT go through any deeper levels of analysis of the human ecology that was always behind that. Those who do NOT engage in deeper levels of analysis, regarding how and why money is measurement backed by murder, are then able to present superficial "solutions" which do NOT admit and address what the death controls ARE going to be within any different systems of debt controls.

In general, it is impossible to exaggerate the degree to which the ruling classes, along with those they ruled over, are matching sets of consistent contradictions regarding the degree to which the perceive the world in the same bullshit-based ways, which are as absurdly backward as possible. The currently existing globalized political economy is about 99% based on public governments enforcing frauds by private banks, as the "globalized empire created by the international bankers," while those systems continue to become exponentially more fraudulent every day. That foundation of ENFORCING FRAUDS required that the vast majority of people develop attitudes whereby they could deliberately ignore the principle of the conservation of energy, as well as misunderstand the concept of entropy in completely inverted ways. At the same time as exponential progress in physical science enabled some people to better understand various general energy systems, such as through thermodynamics and information theory, etc., political "science" became based more and more upon exponentially increasing fraudulence.

Moreover, it was NOT merely that the ruling classes were becoming exponentially more fraudulent, but also, those they ruled over were matching that TOO. Hence, on Zero Hedge, one routinely reads the relatively superficial recognition of the ways that the international bankers are actually predatory parasites, followed by nothing which admits and addresses how and why human ecology must have some such functions fulfilled. Meanwhile, the background issues are becoming worse and worse nightmares, due to the degree that the vast majority of people have become relatively trivial and negligible factors within systems which have harnessed inanimate energy sources in ways which make those people no longer matter much to the runway systems of electronic frauds, backed by the threat of force from atomic weapons, (especially because those people acted like incompetent citizens, who were regularly tricked by the best professional hypocrites.)

At the present time, the development of globalized systems of electronic monkey money frauds, backed by the threat of force from apes with atomic bombs, are things which the overwhelming vast majority of people are NOT interested in, while NOBODY, including the current crop of ruling classes, actually can completely comprehend nor control anymore ... Rather, monkeys and apes with electronics and atomic energy, etc., are behaving in ways which are spinning so wildly out of control that NOBODY can fully imagine how out of control that have actually become!

Due to the degree that the currently established political economy is actually based upon enforcing frauds, it is practically impossible to put into proper perspective the degree to which every "economic" decision being made through those fraudulent financial accounting systems is having longer term consequences which are as absurdly backwards to what those are being publicly presented as being. Each time that there is yet another increment of social successfulness in the short to medium term based upon being able to enforce frauds, while those continue to become exponentially more fraudulent overall, the longer term consequences continue to accumulate ... Hence, we collectively appear to be rushing at about exponential rate towards the observation that in the longer term the survival rate of everyone drops to zero.

Although it appears to be theoretically possible that "we should" develop better political science, at the present time, the best available professional hypocrites continue to have the most socially successful careers, by continuing to develop systems based upon enforcing frauds to become exponentially more fraudulent. Indeed, since those have now become such that those more than 99% dominate the
globalized empire created by the international bankers, it is politically impossible to imagine how those problems could be "corrected."

Certainly, Hugh-Smith was correct about how and why adequate "reforms" are not happening, and most probably not even possible. However, in my view Hugh-Smith grossly understates the kinds of intellectual scientific revolutions and profound paradigm shifts which would be necessary in order that monkeys and apes could change to adapt enough to developing globalized electronic frauds, backed by the threat of force from atomic bombs. By definition, after any life form exists, then the death controls direct the evolution of that life form. Of course, that applies to human beings and civilization just as much as any others. Hence, the human ecology that has evolved is remarkably similar to other evolutionary ecologies which have developed over and over again, in different times and places. The NECESSARY limits to exponential growth, BY DEFINITION, must manifest as changes in the death control systems, which is extremely problematic while the existing death controls cruise on being as deceitful about themselves as possible, which includes that their controlled "opposition" groups stay inside the same deceitful frame of reference too.

The human experiment was mainly about natural selection becoming internalized as intelligence, which was then applied to the most important selection pressures, which were other groups of people. Hence, the history of successful warfare based upon deceits and treacheries, becoming the history of successful finance based upon public governments enforcing frauds. Despite those actually becoming exponentially more fraudulent, civilization still somehow continues to mostly be as dishonest as it can possibly be regarding everything that it is actually doing. THEREFORE, WHILE WHAT HUGH-SMITH STATED WAS SUPERFICIALLY CORRECT, THINGS ARE ACTUALLY ALMOST INFINITELY WORSE!

Kagemusho's picture

Putin threw out the Oligarchs for the Tribe's past involvement in Bolshevism.  Chinese Communism was a derivative of Tribal Bolshevism; they don't want any more, either. The BRICS were a response to Tribal monoply of the financial systems,  and many of the wars going on in places like the Ukraine are the above the surface examples of what's really going on. The world is waking up to their predations,

besnook's picture

therein lies the depth of desperation this time. if the usa and the west fails they have nowhere to go. china, russia and india, the rest of the brics and the unaligned world want no part of them.


that is why this war may be the war to end all wars because it has the potential to end the world itself.

SidSays's picture

The fall of empire? What in the world is going on?

WTFUD's picture

That's it i've had enough, i'm giving the bankers another 20 years to make this right! s/c

The more these Elitist fuckwits screw-up the bigger their Ego's, and Salaries become. Used to be that the Bank Robbers drilled from the outside in, now it's the other way around.

LawsofPhysics's picture

This time is different in so much as this time it is global.

bloofer's picture

Revelation--to the small extent that it makes any sense at all--probably describes collapses that are cyclical. Many civilizations have collapsed in the past. Civilizations, like humans, have a life cycle; they all die. Once when I mentioned a verse in Revelation that I thought referred to current events to an old priest, he told me that the verse described an event that happened long ago, at the end of the Roman Empire.

Maybe it's not to far out there to believe that "end times" prophecies refer to the present age, since we are well into the most monumental collapse of civilizations of all time. Sure collapses are cyclical, and recur again and again, but past collapses have always been localized. They were "the end of the world" for those affected, but the rest of the world was untouched by them. This time it will be all-encompassing.

Zero-Hegemon's picture

"If you like your empire, you can keep your empire."

"We'll keep the lights on."

~ MiC

gaoptimize's picture

I kick it old style with Edward Gibbon.  Pitty the British only learned a little from him.

VWAndy's picture

 Governments are one aspect of society. The land and the people are the other parts. The governmental systems are coming unglued. The people and the land just are.

 The stall and bartering should put governments back on the leash. Empire ? Yea thats a governmental thing that happens when it gets off the leash.

NoWayJose's picture

Bureaucracies rarely collapse - an empire falls because of huge natural disasters, losing a war, or currency imploding. I cannot think of any empire or country where a weakened final stage bureaucracy lived.

Sparehead's picture

Ya, but those other countries pay less for their toilet seats.